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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

EPIC sports projects bring creativity and athletics together

Graham Rothschild completed a project on stilt walking for the EPIC english class. (CONTRIBUTED BY GRAHAM ROTHSCHILD)
Learning a new form of rock climbing; pursuing your long-time interest in stilt walking; developing a motivation for your favorite sport: few would guess that all these activities resulted from an assignment for an English class.

The Experiential Project-based Innovative Capstone (EPIC) class is a non-traditional English class that allows students to work on long-term projects and explore their interests while learning about themselves and those around them. Some students have recently taken the opportunity to pursue their athletic interests with class projects, connecting the projects to reading and writing.

Senior and EPIC student Graham Rothschild completed a project about stilt walking. Rothschild used to stilt walk a lot but hasn’t done it as much recently. Rothschild’s goal for the project was to improve his stilt walking and turn it back into a hobby.

“I have been walking on stilts for a very long time, so I knew it was something that I’d be able to do well. I’d stopped working on my stilts for a bit because I got busy, [but] I wanted to get back into the habit of it,” Rothschild said.

Rothschild said he finished the project with a paper and a video explaining his process. The project was an opportunity for him to improve at stilt walking and learn about himself.

“I got more self-confidence into my system,” Rothschild said. “And I made sure to make time for things I enjoy doing.”

Another senior and EPIC student, Ezra Goldner, is working on a rock climbing project. According to Goldner, he is working on being able to defeat more difficult climbs and improve his skills as a whole.

“I’ve been rock climbing for 10 years, and this was a good opportunity to explore what motivates me to rock climb. I was able to try some new skills in rock climbing and do some new things that I’ve been fearful of before,” Goldner said.

In particular, Goldner is learning a new type of climbing called lead climbing, which is when you take your rope with you as you climb and clip it to carabiners on the wall.

Goldner said learning how to lead climb has forced him to step into unfamiliar territory and overcome his fears. Specifically, being higher up than normal is difficult for him.

“You can climb 50-100 feet up, and I have a pretty significant fear of heights and falling on the rope,” Goldner said. “Most of my time rock climbing I have only done bouldering, which is only 10-15 feet above the ground, and that’s less scary for me. I’m trying to step outside of my comfort zone by learning how to lead climb in a way that doesn’t scare me at all.”

According to senior Nico Humblias, teacher Ben Berman has made the class an inclusive, friendly community that has allowed him to explore new topics and learn more about mindfulness.

“I really enjoy the community that our teacher has created. He’s a very comical guy. Class is very upbeat,” Humblias said. “I’m pursuing things that I didn’t think I would pursue, and I’m pushing myself in my reflective and mental capacity.”

Humblias said he is working on a project about how to motivate himself to be better at crew. He has developed a scale that allows him to rank his motivation and reflect on his performance.

“I’ll analyze how I felt overall, and that will push into my score. Usually, I want to go for extrinsic motivation because that’s going to be a motivation that is reflective of results. Crew is very big on results,” Humblias said.
According to Humblias, the EPIC English class has been a positive experience that has allowed him to work on projects that he is passionate about.
“This new kind of class has opened my mind to what it means to enjoy literature and writing. It doesn’t always have to be about reading books or writing an essay because you have to,” Humblias said. “You can enjoy English class.”

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